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Forklift Safety Tips for Pedestrians: What to Know

A shocking study reveals that nearly 20 percent of forklift incidents involve pedestrians. Many of these accidents are critical and lethal. Pedestrians can be crushed by forklifts or stuck, hit by items falling from the vehicle, or fall off a forklift they are riding on.

Pedestrians should be trained to watch out for forklifts. While pedestrians are supposed to be responsible for their own safety, operators are required to ensure safety for all people around.

So here will walk through the key forklift safety tips for pedestrians and as well as the role of a forklift operator.

Understand the Risk:

Pedestrians are required to understand the dangers associated with working around vehicles.

The mast, forks, and cage can minimize visibility. Tall or bulky loads can affect visibility to a great extent. Forklifts are heavy machines, and in bustling workplaces, it is challenging for drivers and pedestrians to see or hear one another.

When forklifts are turning they pose an even greater risk. The sharper turn can make it swing out and hit pedestrians due to the wider angle taken by the forklift. Each of these factors leads to the risk of injury, but untrained forklift operators can also add to the risk.

Install Pedestrian Walkways:

Some industrial or storage facilities have dedicated walkways for pedestrians. These walkways might have permanent railings and other barriers to alert pedestrians entering forklift paths.

If a permanent barrier cannot be kept in place, there should be stripes painted to guide the pedestrians to the safe routes.

There should be appropriate space for pedestrians to walk safely along with the forklift routes. If there is not enough space, it should be closed off to pedestrians while the forklift goes through that route. Make sure to keep aisles and passageways clean. If pedestrian’s paths are obstructed by materials and debris, pedestrians are likely to walk in the route of forklifts.

Work on the Visibility:

Enhance visibility for your unique environment, although it might not be the same for every workplace. Therefore, you need to figure out blind spots posing risks to safety.

Are mirrors required to show blind spots at intersections? Do you need to redesign to eliminate blind turns? Or maybe a detection system that can alert the operators about a pedestrians’ presence or pedestrians the presence of a forklift is needed?

Remain Out of the Way of a Moving Forklift:

Pedestrians should be reminded to stay out of the way of a moving forklift. Here are some practices to stay out of the forklift’s way.

  • Avoid approaching a moving forklift.

  • If it is necessary to approach, make sure to do it from the side after it has stopped.

  • Keep the feet clear of the forklift.

  • Stay away from a forklift while it is turning

  • If you have entered a forklift way, inform the operator beforehand

Going Extra Miles for Safety of the Pedestrians

  • The forklifts should be properly maintained and repaired. Taking care of your forklifts is not only helps avoid expensive repairs but also keeps them running in proper condition and helps prevent accidents.

  • Arm your forklift with proper accessories and attachments.

The Bottom Line:

For all their advantages, forklifts come with several hazards that put the lives and safety of pedestrians and drivers at risk.

While they move heavy items and improve efficiency, a forklift can lead to serious injuries if not operated appropriately.

It not only risks the life of the operator but also the life of people working around it. However, the risks associated with forklifts can be minimized by guiding both pedestrians and drivers on the safety guidelines as well as creating safety signs to mark the route and pedestrian ways.

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